Iraq: The real election

From Tom Englehardt of TomDispatch:
Last December, Mark Danner took a piercing look back at our Presidential election in Florida, "How Bush Really Won," printed up in the New York Review of Books and posted on line at Tomdispatch. In the aftermath of another election, closely linked to our own and to the well being of our President, Danner returns to the (post-)campaign trail -- this time in Baghdad. What follows is the single clearest-eyed, best reported piece to date on Iraq's January election, whose end game is only now being played out in the installation of an ethnically and religiously divided, exceedingly weak Iraqi government. It will "rule" a riven, occupied country facing an explosive and resilient insurgency as well as independently controlled Shiite and Kurdish militias, and it will do so from inside Baghdad's Green Zone; in other words, from within what is essentially a vast American military encampment. I've seen no other piece that gives a more powerful sense of America's Baghdad as it exists today, of what exactly the election meant, of the degree to which it was fought out in the media as much before an American as an Iraqi audience, and of why the lack of Sunni voter turnout is sure to prove such a disabling factor in Iraq's future.

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